Looking to Boost Your Health? Enjoy the Wonderful Benefits of Drinking Tea
White tea, green tea, black tea, herbal tea, oolong tea, rooibos tea, EVERY KIND OF TEA! Which is your favorite?!
Who loves tea? I do, I do! But did you know there are loads of health benefits to drinking a cup (or a pot…you know who you are!) of tea each day? With so many different kinds, take advantage of all of the wonderful benefits of drinking tea! Let us count the ways….
Tea lovers, this is your time. For so many people, drinking a hot cup of tea in the morning is a way to start the day. It can also be a relaxing break during midday hours, and having a cup of tea at night is a calming way to end the day. Do you sense a pattern? But imagine getting all kinds of health benefits just from drinking a cup of tea?!
Kinds of tea and their wealth of benefits
Black tea. Every culture has its own version of black tea. The Irish have their bold, breakfast tea, Indians call it chai, and the Chinese have Ceylon or Assam. Black tea contains antioxidants called flavonoids that specifically benefit heart health. Drinking black tea on a regular basis may help with the reduction of cholesterol, specifically LDL, and triglyceride levels, lower blood pressure, and general issues of heart disease and stroke. It’s also a great alternative for someone trying to eliminate coffee from their diet.
Green tea. It’s the most popular beverage in the world just behind water! Known for its strong polyphenol antioxidants and catechins, green tea is a major fighter against cancer, stroke, and heart disease. It is thought to help prevent cell damage and form free radicals that help protect the body and aid in aging! Jasmine, sencha, and matcha are some of the most popular varieties.
White Tea. Because they undergo minimal oxidation, white tea leaves offer a more delicate and light flavor. While it is one of the more rare and expensive teas due to minimal processing, it is thought to have the most antioxidants. It is known for reducing inflammation, cancer prevention, and diabetes regulation. Catechins in white tea are known for helping to reduce risk of heart disease and improve blood circulation. Silver needle and white peony are two to try!
Herbal tea. Oh let us count the teas! There are wonderfully delicious herbal choices for just about everything. Plus, they are naturally decaffeinated so they are perfect for any time of day.
Need to create a nighttime ritual? Try chamomile with its calming antioxidants at the end of the day. Really can’t sleep? How about valerian? With mild sedative properties, get ready to pass out. Steep! Sleep… Hibiscus is one of the prettiest teas with its bright pink-red color. Try it iced! It’s also known for naturally helping to lower blood pressure with that bright color. Want something fresh with a delightful scent? Peppermint is your tea! It also aids in digestion and upset stomach and is a calming choice anytime of day. Spicy and tasty, ginger tea is wonderful for upset stomachs and nausea. The lovely elderflower tea offers sweet relief from colds and allergies with antibacterial and antiviral properties. It is especially helpful in soothing the dreaded sore throat!
Brewing/steeping times and temperatures vary greatly in herbal tea so closely follow the directions on the packaging!
Oolong tea. A favorite in China, oolong is the most versatile tea as it is somewhere between a black and a green tea. And much like black and green teas, it offers plenty of antioxidant benefits like reducing inflammation and cholesterol numbers. It is also known to help strengthen bones and teeth.
Rooibos tea. Naturally decaffeinated with a nutty, caramel flavor, rooibos also has many antioxidant benefits like protection against certain cancers and heart disease. Rooibos is a gorgeous and rich, red-colored African tea that would be a perfect choice for sipping iced all summer long.
To caffeine or not to caffeine?
Black, green, oolong, and white teas all come from the same plant, the Camellia sinensis, and they all contain caffeine. But it’s how they are processed, how long they are steeped, and the temperature of the water that makes the difference!
Caffeine does have its benefits, too! It is thought to help elevate mood and mental alertness, it can also enhance physical performance and metabolism. The FDA says it is safe to consume up to 400 milligrams a day. But it does cause concern over the possibility of headaches, anxiety, addiction, and difficulty sleeping in some people.
However, tea typically has less caffeine than coffee. Yay! An (8-ounce) cup of coffee can have 95 mg of caffeine whereas a cup of black tea has about half of that in 47 mg. Green tea can vary between 20-40 mg and white tea can have 6-60 mg. But there are many variables in terms of how hot the water is and how long it is steeped. But once you get the hang of making the “perfect” cup of tea, you’ll never look back.
Loose leaf or bags?
Steeping fresh tea leaves is always going to be a better choice when it comes to taste, freshness, and health benefits. Having control over how much tea, the temperature of the water, and how long it is steeped can also make a tremendous difference in flavor, and caffeine, as well as potential health benefits.
How to make the perfect cup of tea
It’s important to remember a few tips when steeping tea: the longer it is steeped, the stronger it will become. When steeping oxidized teas like black, green, and white, the longer they steep the more bitter they will become. So follow the directions closely. It also allows more caffeination. But not steeping enough, like in herbal teas, will result in a weaker, more mellow flavor. Read more extensive details on how to properly make and steep all kinds of loose leaf tea.
With so many wonderful choices and positive health benefits to drinking tea every day, why not try them all?! Enjoy!